Take these simple precautions to keep your home safe while you’re away:
• Don’t put out the “we’re not home” sign — install timers on lights and a radio or television so your home looks and sounds lived in.
• Let trusted neighbors know how long you’ll be gone and how to reach you in an emergency. Ask them to keep a watchful eye on your place. Have them collect your mail and newspapers, or suspend delivery until you return. Perhaps they could park their cars in your driveway occasionally. In snowy climates, ask them to shovel your walk and driveway.
• Remove home address and phone numbers from your luggage tags and add your cell-phone number instead, in case an unscrupulous baggage handler gets any shady ideas.
• Lock up and hide your valuables. Keep some shades partially closed to keep expensive items (such as your big-screen TV) out of view. (But don’t completely close all window coverings, or it will be obvious that no one is home.)
• Set the thermostat to an energy-saving level. Unplug most appliances to save electricity.
• Remove all perishable items from your refrigerator, and take out the trash so you don’t return to unpleasant odors.
• It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to lock all doors and windows. If you leave a vehicle in the driveway, be sure to remove any garage door openers.
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